PICANet Annual report shows children’s intensive care units performing well despite low staffing levels

Standards of care in children's intensive care units come under scrutiny in a new audit report published last month by the University of Leeds and the University of Leicester.

Standards of care in children's intensive care units come under scrutiny in a new audit report published last month by the University of Leeds (staff from the Division of Epidemiology) and the University of Leicester.

The report, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and carried out by the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network (PICANet) showed that death rates in children’s intensive care units are low and continue to fall. However, there continues to be a higher risk of mortality for children of south Asian origin observed in earlier years.

This national audit also found that only 5 children’s intensive care units across Britain and Ireland were staffed with the number of qualified nurses recommended by the Paediatric Intensive Care Society.

PICANet collected data from 31 institutions providing paediatric intensive care. They looked at details of over 55,000 admissions to these units of nearly 39,000 individual children aged between 0 and 15 years over a three year period from 2009 to 2011.

The ninth annual report from PICANet on activity and outcome in paediatric intensive care services throughout the UK and Ireland is available to download free from here: www.picanet.org.uk.